The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area, or PSF funding mechanism.

Determining the Mechanism of Scarless Wound Healing

Principal Investigator
Edward Buchanan MD


Stanford University

Funding Mechanism
Basic Research Grant

Focus Area

The concept of scarless wound healing became popular nearly twenty years ago when the discovery was made that fetal skin, when wounded, will regenerate with normal dermal and epidermal components. This scarless wound healing phenomena has been witnessed in many different mammals, including humans. Much of the recent work on this subject has been directed toward discovering the mechanism behind this wonderful process. It has been clearly shown that factors intrinsic to fetal tissue are responsible for healing without scar. What has not been made clear is what these factors are. We have identified a unique stem cell population from the fetal mouse dermis. These particular cells, called Dot cells (due to their morphology), are blood derived and can be found in bone marrow and blood of fetal and adult mice as well as in adult human blood. These cells have been isolated and studied in our lab. They are approximately 7 um in diameter, are made almost completely of nuclear material, travel in large numbers, and have multilineage differentiation potential. They are almost 20 times more abundant in fetal circulation. Injection of fetal mouse Dot cells into injured postnatal mice results in Dot cell differentiation into normal dermal components that participate in the restoration of normal skin structure. Tagged Dot cells, after being injected into wounded postnatal mice, migrate into the site of wound repair and are present at the wound site until skin regeneration is concluded. We believe that Dot cells are a unique group of blood-derived stem cells, have a high proliferation rate, demonstrate a multi-lineage differentiation potential during tissue repair, and are the key elements for scarless fetal skin repair. Although some preliminary work on Dot cell activity has been done, the mechanism for scarless skin regeneration in postnatal wounds is unknown. Observation suggests that the tissue regeneration function of Dot cells is dependent on the Dot cells themselves and not on local wound differentiated cells. Our plan is to assess the wound repair mechanisms of Dot cells by studying their migration, their cellular differentiation, and their regulatory factors during wound repair.